Gifts: luxury consumables with slave-free supply chains

Are you looking for a ‘consumable’ gift, but don’t want people far-off to suffer so your friend can have a treat? Here’s some options that are free of child and slave labour and where the workers have all been paid enough to live on.

(Look here for more information on the certifications referred to.)

chopped dark chocolate

Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

Chocolates

Trade Aid

Trade Aid 100g chocolate bars

Trade Aid sells 100g blocks of delicious chocolate. My favourites are dark raspberry and mint crisp, but they also do salt toffee crisp, caramel crunch, milk, dark and extra dark chocolate. They’re vegan, the wrappers are home-compostable and all but the milk and caramel crunch flavours are vegan. The cocoa is grown by a co-op in the Dominican Republic which is a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation, and the sugar by farmers in Peru who are also WFTO members. Awesome all round!

Trade Aid milk chocolate coated cashews and dark chocolate coated almonds

Trade Aid also make dark chocolate coated almonds and milk chocolate coated cashews, both of which are delicious. The almonds are grown by small-scale farmers in Palestine and the cashews by members of the Fair Trade Alliance in southern India.

You can buy the whole Trade Aid range direct from either their shops or online, plus a number of supermarkets and health food shops stock their products.

Wellington Chocolate Factory

a selection of Wellington Chocolate Factory chocolate blocks

Wellington Chocolate Factory sources beans from around the world and crafts them into chocolate at their Wellington Factory. Their range of flavours includes:

  • raspberry milk chocolate
  • star anise milk chocolate
  • Fiji single-origin
  • Peru single-origin
  • Solomon Islands single-origin
  • Dominican Republic single-origin
  • salted caramel
  • coconut milk
  • ANZAC
  • chilli peanuts
  • craft beer

Their whole range is certified Fairtrade and organic, and many of their products are vegan :-)

You can buy Wellington Chocolate Factory chocolate direct from them either online or from the factory in Aro Valley; they are also stocked by high-end supermarkets and organics shops.

Bennetto

a selection of Bennetto chocolate bars

Bennetto Natural Foods make delicious vegan, organic chocolate using cocoa from a Fairtrade co-op in Peru. It comes in a range of flavours, including:

  • amaranth and sea salt
  • raspberry
  • coconut
  • coffee beans
  • toasted hazelnut
  • mint and cacao nibs
  • orange with chilli
  • intense dark

Bennetto chocolate is available at organic and health food stores as well as many New World, Four Square and PakNSave supermarkets. You can also purchase their chocolate by the carton direct from Bennetto. Note that only their bars are Fairtrade certified, not their hot chocolate.

Scorched almonds

box of scorched almonds

From correspondence, we have learned that Nestle scorched almonds from Nestle Australia/New Zealand are made with UTZ-certified cocoa. Nestle has chosen not to display the UTZ logo on the box, which we’re not happy about, but we’ve decided to include them on the list as they give a lower-priced option for boxed chocolates. Look for the Nestle logo on the box and check they are marked ‘made in Australia’ or ‘made in New Zealand’.

Note that there are a number of other companies making scorched almonds these days and only the Nestle ones are slave-free. Nestle scorched almonds come in milk and dark and should be available in any supermarket.

If you’re concerned about Nestle’s ethics, see here for why we are happy to recommend their products.

Alter Eco

a selection of alter eco bars, truffles and clusters

Alter Eco is a US company that’s fairly recently started selling into New Zealand. Their whole range is Fairtrade certified and includes five flavours of truffles, three of chocolate-dipped coconut clusters and 9 of chocolate bars. Look for Alter Eco products at health food and organics shops.

Pana Chocolate

pana rose and hazelnut bars plus a stack of mint, nuts and sour cherry & vanilla bars

Pana chocolate make small (45g) bars of Fairtrade chocolate which is also raw, vegan, organic, kosher and halal! It comes in a delicious range of exotic flavours:

  • raspberry
  • chai
  • hazelnut
  • mint
  • sour cherry and vanilla
  • hemp and nib
  • strawberry and pistachio
  • fig and wild orange
  • orange
  • cinnamon
  • coconut and goji
  • nuts
  • rose
  • pineapple and ginger

Look for Pana chocolate at organic and health food stores.

Gifts for a crowd

Nestle 'fun packs' of smarties, kit kats and milky bars

If you want something small to give to a crowd, one good option is Nestle ‘fun packs’: bags containing 11 small packets of either smarties, kit kats or milky bars. Smarties and Kit Kats are both UTZ-certified* and milky bars are cocoa free! You should be able to find Nestle fun packs in any supermarket.

*check the back to make sure that’s true - there’s a chance you’ll find imported ones that aren’t. You’re looking for either a UTZ logo or a statement saying that Nestle works with UTZ.

If you’re concerned about Nestle’s ethics, see here for why we are happy to recommend their products.

Kit kats, milky bars, pixie caramel, chokito and aero bars

Another option, also brought to you by Nestle, are their various chocolate bars. All varieties of KitKats should be UTZ-certified (check the back to be sure), as are Pixie Caramels, Chokito bars and Aero bars. Plain milky bars are cocoa free and the ones with smarties in are UTZ-certified.

You can buy these individually from supermarkets, the Warehouse, K Mart etc., but if you’re wanting chocolate bars for a crowd you might want to check out My Crescent. They sell many of these bars by the box (cartons of 24, 36 or 48 bars) and ship nationwide.

Hot chocolate

hot chocolate mixes as discussed below

Just Kai’s cocoa guide has a great many options for hot chocolate. However, the ones that are probably most suitable for gifting are:

  • West Coast Cocoa (UTZ-certified). Buy directly from them online or see here for stockists. West Coast Cocoa comes in the following flavours:

    • deluxe
    • dark deluxe
    • peppermint
    • caramel
    • mayan chilli
  • Trade Aid drinking chocolate (WFTO certified): buy from their own shops, online or from health food shops
  • Kokako drinking chocolate (Fairtrade certified) is available online, or see here for stockists.
  • Devonport Chocolates (Fairtrade certified) hot chocolate mixes can be purchased online or from their store in Devonport, Auckland. They come in three varieties:

    • spicy
    • classic
    • dark and decadent

and something to snazz up your hot chocolate

bottles of various brown, amber and beige syrups

The Goodness sells elegant 750mL bottles of sugary syrup to add to your hot chocolate or coffee or to pour over your dessert. It’s Fairtrade certified so the sugar is slave and child-labour free and the workers have been paid a living wage :-) It comes in:

  • butterscotch
  • caipiroska lime
  • caramel
  • elderflower
  • hazelnut
  • lavender
  • lychee
  • manuka honey, lemon and ginger
  • mojito mint
  • spicy chai
  • sweet chai
  • turmeric latte
  • vanilla
  • white chocolate

We’ve only tried hazelnut so far: it’s very good in hot chocolate!

Buy The Goodness syrup from companies that supply cafes: there are a few around that don’t require you to have an account and will fill orders of a single bottle. We’ve also seen The Goodness syrup on TradeMe.

Toiletries and cosmetics

a selection of LUSH products scattered over a wooden table

LUSH make a wide range of toiletries and cosmetics which are all handmade. Many of them are packaging free or come in re-fillable packaging; all their products are vegetarian and many are vegan.

Many of their products contain cocoa butter, and in the vast majority of cases this cocoa butter is Fairtrade. However, a few of their products are made with regular cocoa butter, so always check the ingredients list to be sure: if it’s Fairtrade it will say :-) None of their other cocoa is Fairtrade, so avoid products with cocoa liquor or cocoa powder, though.

Find your nearest LUSH stockist here.